A simple marriage proposal fails miserably—twice.
Marry Me
Credit: Greg Gayne/NBC
S1 E1
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In the first five minutes of Marry Me, Annie goes from blissfully looking back at her recent vacation with boyfriend Jake to frantically yelling at him for not proposing to her during said vacation. And it’s one of the funniest, most expressive comedy openings of late—mostly thanks to Casey Wilson’s crazed-but-witty portrayal of Annie.

Although Wilson, who’s a regular on Hotwives of Orlando and has appeared on shows like Drunk History and Comedy Bang! Bang!, gets around in the comedy world, one of her most notable roles to date is as the always-single but always-looking Penny on ABC’s Happy Endings. Yes, Happy Endings, that show that was strongly adored by some, but not enough: It was canceled after three seasons.

Ken Marino, who plays Jake, has a similar story: He starred alongside Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan in Starz’s Party Down, a show that, like Happy Endings, had a passionate—but ultimately too-small—fan-base and was canceled after two seasons. All of this is to say that Wilson and Marino were some of the most versatile, funny characters on their respective shows and watching them alongside each other on Marry Me is delightful and downright fun.

Delightful, because the two pull off couple-in-love with ease. The pilot flashes back to their beginnings, a meet-cute and a karaoke outing riddled with self-deprecating banter, mixed with genuine moments of love. Fun, because both Wilson and Marino are skilled physical comedians, so watching them do just about anything is entertaining. Example: When Annie goes off on a two-minute tirade, she doesn’t just yell. She acts out leaving the apartment; she slams cupboards looking for her Skinny Girl; she pulls a knife for dramatic effect. Maybe that rant dragged on to Jake, but to us? Give us more, please.

When Annie’s not throwing a fit, though, the pilot is incredibly charming. This couple might have their struggles, but you’re rooting for them within minutes thanks to Wilson and Marino’s performances and the just-right balance of funny and sweet. Their many cringe-inducing fumbles—including using the karaoke stage as the venue for a relationship-related rant—also help make the whole show a bit more relatable, which brings us to…

The episode’s most awkward moments, in chronological order:

Their meet-cute Annie’s sitting just outside a Mexican restaurant when Jake, who’s eating his nachos solo, grabs her attention. “You know you really shouldn’t eat at that place because the owners give tons of money to oppose gay marriage, and my dads are gay,” Annie says. “So enjoy your hate nachos.” Establishing himself as a man of grand gestures, Jake throws his (perfectly good!) nachos in a nearby trash and chats up Annie… until her own takeout order arrives. Moral of the story? Not everyone’s morals can resist the sweet temptation of nachos.

The first “I love you” A year into dating, Jake and Annie go to karaoke and she dedicates her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to her beau before launching into a speech about how neither of them had said “I love you,” but she’s totally cool but they have been together for a while, so. The first “I love you” in a relationship: Terrifying. Revealing the status of the relationship’s yet-to-happen first “I love you” in front of all your friends: As horrifying as singing “I Will Always Love You” at karaoke.

Annie’s insult-ridden rant After returning from vacation, Annie gives Jake one last opportunity to propose—but he fails to, at least in time to escape a vicious rant that includes stabs at their best friends and his mom. Her most personal insults, ranked:

3. On her best friend, Dennah: “She better just switch over to AOL tonight, because she is going to be that weird, sad, short-haired aunt who brings a friend to everything.” This isn’t so bad because it’s about the future—Dennah isn’t an AOL-using, eccentric aunt yet so it’s basically like Annie’s just talking about an imaginary character. Plus, have you seen Charlize Theron (or Jennifer Lawrence, or Anne Hathaway, or Shailene Woodley)? As far as adjectives go, “short-haired” isn’t too bad.

2. On Jake’s best friend, Gil: “Gil didn’t get divorced because marriage blows, he got divorced because he went on a four-year mozzarella marinara-thon and now probably can’t maintain an erection for as long as sex takes.” Sure, insulting someone’s weight is a low, low blow. But she also coined the term “marinara-thon,” so now pizza enthusiasts everywhere have a word for what they’ve been training for their entire lives.

1. On Jake’s mom: “She’s been through a lot of friends because she’s a bitch.” Yeah, there’s no defending this one.

Yoga compliments Annie is not good at yoga; Dennah is. It happens. But their yoga teacher isn’t willing to just ignore Annie, so instead he showers her with “compliments” that have nothing to do with yoga… and probably have nothing to do with upping her self-esteem. His comments, from most to least insulting:

3. “I’m loving the sweatpants, Annie. Way to not give in to trends.”

2. “Annie, thanks for mopping up all your sweat.”

1. “Annie, if that’s your blue Camry out front, really great parking job.”

The second proposal Annie storms into Jake’s office to propose, which is heartwarming and all, but really—who wants to associate his very romantic marriage proposal with his very (probably) un-romantic place of work for the rest of his life? The proposal itself though—complete with Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do” playing over iPhone speakers—goes over smoothly, but it’s the aftermath that stings: Thanks to Annie’s mention of the two’s trip to Mexico in her speech, Jake’s boss now knows that no, he wasn’t in the hospital with his sick dad for a week. This mean’s Jake’s down a job, but really: If you’re a 30-something who still has to play sick to get away for a vacation, you’ve got bigger problems.

The final proposal Okay, so the final proposal in the restaurant where they met is actually pretty cute, except for Jake’s slip-up: “You’re like my little exploding Challenger,” he tells Annie. Cue visible discomfort. “R.I.P. to the whole crew up there.” Good save, Jake. Good save.

Best lines

“Your friends are garbage people!” —Annie

“Don’t worry, I did not pee in your hamper.” —Kay, Annie’s friend who hid for a bit too long during the first proposal

“This is just like that time I was so excited to get a hamster I literally pet him to death.” —Annie

“I thought you told me he ran away?” —Dennah

“His soul ran away.” —Annie

“It’s not my fault, I mean, have you met my dads? They named me after a musical!” —Annie on being dramatic

“We literally cannot get away from each other! We’re like Paula Deen and the N-word.” —Jake

Episode Recaps

Marry Me
Casey Wilson and Ken Marino play the will they or won’t they (get married) in this NBC rom-com.
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